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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  March 12, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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5:00 lester holt joins us next for "nightly news." on this thursday night, ambushed. two police officers shot in the powder keg that is ferguson, missouri. tonight the hunt for the shooter as the city braces for what comes next. secret service scandal. new revelations about the night two agents crashed into a white house barrier after a night of drinking. did they also disrupt an investigation into a possible bomb? desperate escape. the video showing a carjacking victim making his getaway from the boston bombing suspects. he lived to tell the tale to the jury today. and stealing your money. the holes in online filing making it easier than ever for others to scam away your tax refund. "nightly news" begins now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news."
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roaring tonight, lester holt. good evening. the st. louis county police chief is calling last night's shooting of two police officers in ferguson missouri, an ambush. nbc news was there as the shots rang out striking and wounding the officers just hours after the city's embattled police chief agreed to resign. it happened near the end of a protest. tonight, the hunt for the shooter goes on. and ferguson itself which has ridden a wave of anguish, mistrust and change since the michael brown killing, faces an unsettling future. ron allen is back in ferguson for us tonight. >> reporter: without warning gunfire, at least three shots shattered the calm evening outside ferguson police headquarters. >> shots fired. officer down. >> reporter: a potentially deadly moment. >> is he hit? >> yeah, in the face. >> reporter: two officers hit. one took a bullet through the shoulder. the other hit in his face. rushed from the scene. an nbc news team right in the middle of the chaos.
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>> the police said get down, get down and guns were drawn. we all hit the floor. it was a frightening moment. >> move, move, move. >> reporter: the police response was intense. scores surrounding headquarters, launching a manhunt. police say the weapon was probably a handgun fired from a residential neighborhood on a hill overlooking headquarters. >> it got quiet. all we heard was the police of course shouting take cover and they get their guns out and riot gear out and stuff like that. it was pretty surreal. >> reporter: a stunning end to a demonstration that was winding down following the resignation of embattled ferguson police chief tom jackson earlier in the day. the sixth city employee out of a job along with the city manager and top judge since a scathing federal report charging widespread bias. commanders sat through months of protests, with gunfire often in the air, they long feared this
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might happen. >> we're lucky by god's grace we didn't lose two officers last night. >> idiotic thing that could have been done. >> reporter: charles davis opened a new business the day before michael brown was killed last august and violence erupted along ferguson's main drag. surprised. >> very surprising. especially with the fact we are getting the changes that we were fine with. >> reporter: the davises say they'll see it through among many wondering when this beleaguered city will ever escape what feels like a constant downward spiral. the two wounded officers left the hospital today. they're expected to make recoveries. meanwhile, that intense manhunt continues with several people brought in for questioning during the day, but no suspects named and no arrests as of yet. lester. >> and, ron, i'm sure the citizens there, the police they're all worried about what the night could bring. what are you hearing about plans for more protests? >> reporter: a lot of tension, a lot of emotion here. we're hearing there will be a candlelight vigil here in the next few hours.
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a lot of people will join that gathering no doubt with a lot of different agendas. we understand the county police and month highway patrol will now be in charge of security here, the way it was during the states of emergency during the worst of times in ferguson. >> ron allen in ferguson. ron, thank you. we want to turn to the new scandal in the secret service. sources familiar with the investigation are telling nbc news that the pair of agents that crashed a car into a white house barrier after they reportedly had been drinking careened right into the middle of a potentially very dangerous security situation. nbc's chris jansing is at the white house to tell us more about it. hi, chris. >> reporter: hi, lester. well this latest embarrassment for the secret service really has people shaking their heads incredulous that experienced senior agents could become a target of investigation by the inspector general of homeland security. and it comes at a time when they know scrutiny of the agency has probably never been higher. for years he was one of the elite agents president obama trusted with his life. from ireland to arizona to ohio, but now mark connolly and senior
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supervisor george ogilvie are being investigated for what happened late on the night of march 4th. "the washington post" first reported the agents drove a government car into white house security barricades after drinking at a late-night party. nbc news has learned it started here at a bar in chinatown at a party for a co-worker. then it's a quick drive to the white house only about a mile away. now, at the southeast gate of the white house, a woman pulled up and got out of her car. according to the police report she had a parcel wrapped in a green shirt which she said was a bomb. by the time the secret service agents arrived, lights flashing, they broke through a police tape, hit a barrier interrupting an active bomb scene investigation. >> it could be very serious because we have no idea of the suspicious package and what it contains. >> reporter: and a source close to the investigation says the agent's car came close to hitting the package, all of it caught on government video now in the hands of investigators. on capitol hill there's bipartisan outrage on the committee that oversees the
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service. >> does it really need to be said that you can't show up drunk at work especially when you're in the secret service? >> there's absolutely no doubt that heads need to roll. >> reporter: congressman chaffetz says he learned from the breach not only from agency but from four whistleblowers. one allegation, officers on duty wanted to arrest the agents and give them a sobriety test, but a supervisor said to send them home. after a series of embarrassing incidents, an independent report in december recommended new management be brought in from outside the secret service. but the president went with joe clancy, a 27-year veteran who had promised to turn things around. >> give us some time to earn that trust back and prove ourselves. >> reporter: but not everyone may have gotten the message. >> these people if true, should lose their jobs. >> reporter: now the two agents have been reassigned. they're not supervising or guarding anyone. and they have not responded to our requests for comment. lester. >> all right, chris. the two agents that roll up on the scene, you've got a security situation going on, potentially
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a lot of people. is it just two people under investigation? >> reporter: no, lester. the inspector general was brought in because those two are such high level agents, but this investigation is going to look at every aspect of this incident. they're taking this extremely seriously. and the congressional oversight committee, i've talked to both of those members. they're definitely going beyond those two. they want to include the supervisor who may have given those agents a pass that night, lester. >> all right, chris jansing at the white house. thank you. at the boston marathon bombing trial jurors were shown in dramatic video today of the man who was carjacked by the tsarnaev brothers three nights after the bombings. we get more from our justice correspondent pete williams. >> reporter: it was the dash to safety that he believes saved his life. businessman dun meng from china was driving this suv when he says tamerlan tsarnaev jumped in and pointed a loaded gun. the brothers used his atm card to get cash beginning a terrifying 90-minute ride stopping at a shell station in
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cambridge where prosecutors say dzhokhar tsarnaev is scene on surveillance video buying snacks. as jurors listened intently, meng said he had to escape right then calling it the most terrifying moment of his life. he saw his chance while the car was parked here, undoing his seat belt with one hand and opening the door with the other, he jumped out and dashed across the street to call 911. that's him on this surveillance video running to a nearby mobile station. tamerlan leaps out of the car to tell his brother what just happened. dzhokhar quickly dumps what he meant to buy and the two leave. dung meng crawls down low in the mobil station so they won't see him, finds a hiding place and the attendant calls 911. >> i have one come inside now, and he tells me someone wanted to shoot him. >> reporter: then meng takes the phone. >> please, me. they are the suspects of the marathon explosion. please help me please, they have
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guns. >> reporter: a short time later dun meng is safe and police begin tracking the gps in the tsarnaev brothers' stolen car. pete williams, nbc news, boston. tonight, we have learned the names of some of the 11 u.s. service members killed when their black hawk helicopter crashed during a nighttime training mission off the coast of florida. the coast guard today giving up hope of finding any of them alive. nbc's mark potter has more from nevar, florida. >> reporter: searchers have spent nearly two days working the crash site in heavy fog recovering pieces of the downed army black hawk helicopter including a fuel bladder. late this morning officials from eglin air force base made a dramatic announcement. >> at this time i can report that we have located the wreckage of the uh-60 black hawk. >> reporter: authorities say the chopper lies in 25 feet of water after making a high impact crash into santa rosa bay, east of
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nevar, florida. they confirm that none of the seven marines aboard or the four men army national guard crew survived. remains are still being recovered from the helicopter. a cause of the crash has not been given, but a former pilot says low flying chopper pilots sometimes become disoriented in dense fog which covered the bay the night of the crash. >> this can produce a phenomenon in the aviation world that we call the goldfish bowl effect. that's effectively when the horizon disappears and the sea melds in with the cloud. >> reporter: among the dead according to family and friends are two u.s. marines from michigan. trevor blaylock a father of two, and marcus bawol, who was engaged to be married later this year. the tragedy is deeply felt at the camp lejeune marine base in north carolina where michelle smith runs a diner. >> it's personal because a lot of our customers have become our friends. we've become part of the community. they become part of our lives.
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>> reporter: now, meantime officials say the flight data recorder which could help investigators is still on the chopper, and they're now making arrangements to bring that helicopter to the surface. lester. >> all right, mark, thank you. overseas now to iraq. and more signs of what looks like progress in the fight against isis. as we reported here last night, isis may be losing its grip on the city of tikrit, which was seized by the militants last june but they're also on the defensive on another front further north where kurdish fighters are pushing them back. nbc's bill neely made his way to the frontlines today. >> reporter: there have been few victories over isis, but this is one. kurdish fighters have just driven them from a long frontline in iraq. isis held this smoldering ground for nine months. they fled two days ago after u.s. and coalition warplanes first began hitting dozens of their positions.
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air strikes that lasted for three days. we filmed the isis fighters here last year holding a river crossing, their black flags flying near the road to mosul. this is the same scene today. isis gone. as they retreated they blew up bridges. under this one they left a small boobytrap bombs the kurds discovered. most of the isis fighters tell me they weren't iraqi. but the conflict here isn't over. the kurds have chased isis to where their black flag flies again. the men here say isis fighters now attack them at this new frontline at night. isis have been driven back three miles or so, but they're not gone. so the kurds are on their guard. isis were degraded here, but not wholly defeated, not by a long way. bill neely, nbc news in northern iraq. we have late word tonight that another american has tested positive for ebola and will be
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flown to the u.s. tomorrow for treatment. this patient was apparently infected while volunteering in sierra leone and will be treated at the nih facility in bethesda, maryland. eight other americans have been infected with ebola and survived. the university of oklahoma storied football team making a statement without saying a word today. they staged a silent protest on their field over the video of ou fraternity members chanting racist slurs. that fraternity, sigma alpha epsilon, has been booted off campus. one football recruit has already rescinded his commitment to the school. there's more to tell you about here tonight. don't let this happen to you. how online scammers are stealing tax refunds and what you can do to protect yourself. also, dust off the boxes in the closet. why board games are making a big comeback.
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a scam involving phone calls from fake irs agents has cost americans $15 million since 2013. federal investigators announced that today. that and another scheme involving returns filed online
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have become so serious they prompted congress to take up the issue today. we get more from nbc's anne thompson. >> reporter: this tax season filers are not just racing against time, they're also racing against fraud. ethan wattrel and his wife lost that race. they filed online using turbotax, the top selling tax preparation software only to discover someone else had beat them to it. >> i found out that the submission through turbotax was actually riddled with errors. and they passed it through still. >> reporter: he says someone used his or his wife's social security number. the recent rash of customer data thefts from companies like anthem health insurance has officials wondering if that's what's driving this season's dramatic increase in fraud. shane mcdougle worked in security for intuit the company that owns turbotax. >> people should be very concerned. this is an industry wide problem and there's no incentive to fix this. >> reporter: he quit and complained to the securities and
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exchange commission claiming intuit could do more to confirm someone's identity by validating e-mails and associating a phone number to each account. >> when i pitched those ideas i was always told that we didn't want to impact the user experience. >> reporter: intuit says such claims are unfounded and that it used appropriate security measures for the threat level at the time and is instituting new procedures to ensure filers are who they say they are. with the months to go, what can online filers do to protect themselves? >> file as early as possible, the sooner the better. and if you're using these tax preparation services online, make sure that you're using a unique password. >> reporter: ethan doesn't know who has his refund. >> i'm going to be dealing with this at the very least for six more months. >> reporter: wondering just who has his money and information. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. when we come back, royalty meets nobility as kate middleton meets the cast of one of her favorite shows.
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lumber liquidators is offering free air quality test kits to any customer concerned about the safety of its products it sells. this comes after a recent report accused the company of cutting corners selling laminated flooring from china contaminated with excessive amounts of formaldehyde. richard glatzer has died. he was the co-writer and director of the film "still alice" whose star julianne moore won this year's academy award for best actress for her depiction of a woman suffering from alzheimer's disease. throughout the film's production, glatzer was fighting his own battle against a.l.s. lou gehrig's disease, from which he died this week. richard glatzer was 63 years old. in london a woman with true star power was a little star struck today. kate middleton, the duchess of
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cambridge paid a visit to the set of "downton abbey" in the studios where many of the indoor scenes are filmed. most cast members were there. including some dressed in their costumes. kate especially said to be fascinated by the downstairs part of the tour including a look inside the kitchen. "downton abbey" is produced by nbc universal. when we come back here tonight, family night goes back to the future.
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finally tonight, in this age of smartphones and ipads and every imaginable game you can play on a screen, you may have noticed that something else is going on. more and more people are spending hours of their time away from their devices on an old family favorite. here's nbc's peter alexander. >> reporter: how much would you pay to connect? how about five bucks? >> you're not playing board games with your friends -- >> reporter: at game house in glendale, california, five bucks lets you dive into more than 900 different games. similar spots are popping up nationwide. it may sound like child's play, but board games are back big time. some even say this is a golden age of games. board games are booming. sales up 10% last year totaling $1.5 billion. over the past few years monopoly
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keeps passing go up 15%, operation more than 40%. and long live the game of life. its sales up 45%. at hasbro's factory in massachusetts they pump out more than 27 million games a year and 29$29 trillion in play money, of course. nine of the top ten best selling games in the country. brings families back together. >> brings families back together. >> reporter: a refreshing connection says hasbro's john friscotti. >> in this age where people are disconnected games create a great opportunity for people to reconnect with each other. >> you sank my battleship. >> reporter: we've come a long way from battleship. today's games offer everything from vikings to villains to vixens. >> strategy modification. >> reporter: fans even flock though this web series called tapetobl like celebrity poker for board games. 500,000 viewers per episode. outside boston sherri rice treasures this time.
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>> they're always, always always running. so for the few moments that you can actually stop time and take a deep breath and play games with the kids, it is priceless. >> reporter: offline but still connecting across the board. peter alexander, nbc news, canton, massachusetts. >> break out the scrabble, and i'm there. that will do it for us on this thursday night. i'm lester holt. thank you for joining us. by the way, we know you can't always be with us at this time each day, so don't forget you can always find us on demand. we hope you'll look for us there. have a great night, everybody.
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i think the archbishop's language is very hurtful and offensive to a lot of people. >> right now at 6:00 asking for action. what students from three bay area cities want when it comes to their teachers and those that hire them. good evening and thanks for joining us. i'm janelle wang in for jessica aguirre. >> and i'm raj mathai. education, religion and a youth movement. it's colliding tonight as high school students across the bay area are fighting for their teachers. the question is is the catholic archdiocese listening. kristi smith is in the middle of
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that rally in san francisco. >> reporter: good evening. this rally just got started 20 minutes ago. this is a student-led rally but some teachers and parents came out to support too. they're saying in a place like this in the bay area they don't see room for these guidelines or morality clauses. students say they felt compelled to gather and speak up many showing the hash tag teach acceptance. >> i think as a community we're hurting at this time. i think the archbishop's language is very hurtful and offensive to a lot of people. >> reporter: the rally comes after san francisco archbishop's proposed changes to the faculty handbook and a morality clause in the teachers' contract. eric graduated in 2008 and is worried that students and teachers will be impacted. >> rather they'll be bound to this policy where

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